Students abroad in Germany.
Students abroad in Germany.

The families of students studying abroad provide a strong system of support as they take this major step in their academic career. Good communication throughout the study abroad process is extremely important in minimizing stress and making the experience as enjoyable as possible. Study Abroad & Global Engagement (SAGE) is happy to answer any questions you might have.

SAGE helps students identify different communication methods available during their time abroad as part of our advising services and pre-departure orientation materials. Our priority is to make sure students feel informed with their decision to study abroad and we are happy to answer any questions you might have.

Types of Communication

KU and Study Abroad & Global Engagement are bound by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). This legislation requires that we keep student information private, so our staff can only release student information when the student provides proper photo identification or can answer specific personally identifiable questions. SAGE is only able to provide information to family members or other individuals if the student has filled out a release with Study Abroad & Global Engagement specifically identifying them. 

The FERPA release forms are for Account, Financial Aid and Academic record information.  Release of study abroad information is not included on this document. Because of this, Study Abroad & Global Engagement requires that students fill out our FERPA release which is part of students’ online application and acceptance materials. 

Consider establishing a communication plan with your student prior to departure. Setting expectations before departure or immediately after arrival can ease anxiety for both families and students.  

There are many ways for students and their families to keep in touch. Your student may not be able to immediately contact you upon arrival to their host location, as it may take some time for them to get internet access. Once your student has gotten settled, internet is generally available through the host institution abroad or Wi-Fi networks in the area.  Students can also keep in touch via apps such as Skype or Facetime, Whatsapp, etc. and many students choose to purchase an international plan through their cellular provider, a local sim card in the host country, or an inexpensive cell phone while abroad or purchase an international sim card.  

For more information about communication abroad, please review the Communications section of the Pre-departure manual found on your student’s Jayhawks Abroad portal after acceptance.